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» The Business Confidence Index increased 5 points in the Third Quarter of 2021

          29th October 2021, Siam Ratings Agency Company Limited (SRA) announced the result of the survey about WVB Business Confidence Index in the third quarter of 2021.

          SRA Co., Ltd. conducts the survey quarterly. The main objects of the survey are companies which have the most well-known brand, the largest number of Total Assets, Total Revenues, and Employees. Being performed from the early of October 2021 to the late of October 2021, the survey attracted 150 Companies which active in many different fields in Thailand, such as Agriculture, Automotive, Construction, Technology, Energy, Electronics, Telecommunications, Services… In particular, large and medium enterprises accounted for over 96% of total enterprises participating in this quarter.




          According to the survey, the Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the third quarter of 2021 reached 124 points, increased by 5 points compared to the second quarter of 2021 (119 points), This index shows that companies in Thailand have a positive perspective on the current economic situation, which most companies also say they are still confident that the Thai economy will improve in the next phase. Besides, there are also many enterprises that believe that the current economy has many fluctuations and it is difficult to predict due to the volatility of the global economy and especially the Covid-19 situation variable in 2021.



          Summary of investigation results of 6 components building Business Confidence Index (BCI) in the third quarter of 2021 as follows:

- On the general economic situation of Thailand today:
          Only 18.00% of enterprises participating in the survey said that Thailand's overall economy is now better than 12 months ago, 48.00% of enterprises said that the economic conditions of Thailand remained the same. 34.00% of enterprises said that economic conditions were somewhat worse than 12 months ago.

According to the Kasikorn Research Center (KResearch), COVID-19 Pandemic continues to pose risks to Thai Economic Outlook for 4Q2021.

COVID-19 Containment Measures Continue to Hurt the Thai Economy.

          The third wave of COVID-19 that emerged in early April 2021 continues to pose risks to the Thai economic recovery. The number of COVID-19 infections in Thailand remains high due to the highly contagious Delta variant. During 1H2021, the Thai economy grew only 2 percent although the government’s relief measures such as “Rao Mai Thing Kan” (We Do Not Leave You Behind) and “Rao Rak Kan” (We Love Each Other) helped sustain consumer spending somewhat. During 3Q2021, the Thai economy is projected to be substantially hurt by more stringent COVID-19 containment measures, namely closure of shopping malls and restaurants during August. As a result, the 3Q2021 economic performance may record a steep decline as reflected by the Private Consumption Index (PCI) that fell by 8.1 percent in July 2021 while the number of international tourist arrivals in Thailand as part of the government’s initiative to welcome back foreign visitors (the Phuket Sandbox program) during the first two months of the program (July 1 - August 31, 2021) reached only 26,400, which was below the government’s set target, because the COVID-19 pandemic at home and abroad was getting much worse. Concurrently, Thais who were fully vaccinated accounted for only 14.7 percent of the total population (September 4, 2021), which remains relatively low.

          Nevertheless, the COVID-19 situation in Thailand began to improve in early September 2021 as evidenced by the declining number of daily cases. Concurrently, the inoculation rate began to increase, particularly in the Bangkok Metropolitan area, where 90 percent of the population has already received the first dose of COVID-19 vaccine. Although vaccination is concentrated in areas where the number of cases is high, additional vaccine supplies are expected to help speed up the vaccination rate in other areas. Given this, we at KResearch are of the view that the Thai economy will likely bottom out in 3Q2021.

- Prediction of Thailand general economic situation in the next 12 months:

           77.33% of enterprises believed that Thailand’s economy would be better in the next 12 months, 22.00% said that the economy would remain unchanged, and 0.67% of businesses are worried about Thailand’s economy in the future.

- Plans to use employees:

          In the survey: 18.00% of enterprises expected to raise human resources; 74.00% of enterprises planned to remain and 8.00% of enterprises will reduce the number of employees in the future.

          According to KResearch (Kasikorn Research Center) Net loss to Construction and Restaurant Businesses Set to Reach at least THB40 Billion within One Month of Partial Lockdown in Six Dark Red Zone Provinces.

          The government has announced partial lockdown measures, including the prohibition of construction work, primarily at large construction projects for at least 30 days in the maximum and strict controlled zones (dark red) of six provinces, namely Bangkok, Nakhon Pathom,Nonthaburi, Pathum Thani, Samut Prakan and Samut Sakhon, plus sales of F&B at restaurants, with the exception of takeaways, effective June 28, 2021. Moreover, it has introduced relief measures that are preliminarily worth THB7.5 billion for both employers and employees in and outside of the social security system. Such attempts reflect the government's intent to contain the COVID-19 pandemic and compensate related losses as much as possible.

          KResearch, however, is of the view that assistance mechanisms for employers and employees in and outside the social security system are primarily intended for only the workforce and businesses in the downstream construction and restaurant businesses. Obviously, they are the first group to be affected by lockdown measures, but other groups in the related businesses or supply chains will be hurt too as they may not be able to sell or supply products to those that will suspend their activity for at least one month.​ For the construction business, related operators may face legal issues related to the delay in handing over construction projects, which could potentially incur higher costs than having to suspend their work for one month during the partial lockdown.

- Investment plans for fixed assets:

          64.00% of surveyed businesses planned to invest more costs for fixed assets, 35.33% of these still have no plan and 0.67% planned to reduce the cost for fixed assets in the next 12 months.

- The belief in revenue growth:

          86.00% of participating enterprises were confident of an increase in sales, 14.00% of enterprises said that the revenue would remain and 0.00% business is concerned about the number of sales going down in the next 12 months.

- The belief in profit growth:

          86.00% of enterprises believed that profit would rise in the following year, 14.00% of enterprises believed that profit would remain and 0.00% business is concerned about the number of Profit going down in the next 12 months.

          According to KResearch (Kasikorn Research Center), KResearch revises downward Thailand’s 2021 Economic Growth Forecast to -0.5% due to economic impact from the COVID-19 outbreak.

          The Thai economy in 1H21 grew more than previously assessed, as seen from economic indicators in 2Q21 which rose 7.5 percent YoY, mainly due to a low base effect and accelerated export growth. As a result, the Thai economy grew 2.0 percent YoY during the first half of 2021. However, the Thai economy expanded only 0.4 percent QoQ, which indicates that it still has a weakened momentum owing to the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak.

          Since the economic impact from the latest COVID-19 outbreak has proven to be more severe than previously forecast, KResearch has revised downward Thailand's economic growth forecast from 1.0 percent to -0.5 percent. The ongoing wave of the COVID-19 pandemic tends to become increasingly devastating and prolonged compared to the previous assessment in July 2021. Based on the COVID-19 situation at present, the number of daily cases is expected to reach its peak in September 2021 before tapering off gradually. However, the situation is not expected to come under control in the immediate future, and daily COVID-19 infections may not dip below 1,000 people any sooner than 4Q21.

          Therefore, the Thai government will likely maintain strict lockdown measures for at least another two months (starting July 2021), which would subsequently put more pressure on the economy. While the government has implemented multiple stimulus packages to ease the burdens of businesses and their employees that have been directly impacted by the partial lockdown, such measures are unlikely to entirely offset such impacts. Although the government may slowly relax lockdown restrictions on certain business, consumer confidence would not return to normal as long as the number daily COVID-19 cases remains high amid a relatively low percentage of fully vaccinated population. This would in turn keep economic activity from recovering quickly.
Regarding the impact on the tourism industry, the number of inbound tourists to Thailand may be lower than expected due to growing concerns over the pandemic as the Delta variant has caused massive spikes in COVID-19 cases within many countries, including Thailand. For this reason, KResearch projects that the number of foreign tourists entering Thailand this year may drop to approximately 150,000 people.
Meanwhile, the Thai manufacturing sector faces heightened risk from outbreaks found at factories, which may also have an impact on the export industry, this year's principal economic driver. Furthermore, it could lead to domestic goods shortages at certain times this year. Nevertheless, the global economic recovery – particularly that of the US and EU – and the weakening Baht should help Thailand to achieve high export growth in 2021.​







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Execution unit:
Siam Ratings Agency Company Limited.
78/11-12 Moo 5, Sub-District Angsila,
District Meuang Chonburi 20000, Thailand.

Website: http://www.siamcr.com
Tel: (+66) 38 397 457.